By Deborah White
United Methodist News Service
More than 100,000 insecticide-treated bed nets will be delivered to
Partners in Nothing But Nets include the
The goal is to raise funds to eradicate malaria in
The idea for Nothing But Nets came from Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, who encouraged readers to donate money to the U.N. Foundation after he learned that 1 million children die from malaria each year and that bed nets could save lives.
In a May 5 column, he wrote, “If you’ve ever cut down a net, jumped over a net, watched the New Jersey Nets, worn a hair net, surfed the net, or loved fishnets, send 10 bucks and maybe you could save a life.”
In just a few months, more than 17,000 people sent $1.2 million. Reilly plans to join a delegation from Nothing But Nets to distribute nets in
The U.N. Foundation asked the
“All of this work makes the denomination a natural partner for the Nothing But Nets campaign,” said Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, president of the Commission on Communication, which governs United Methodist Communications. “Not only do we want to eradicate malaria, but we also want to get our young people involved in mission work.”
United Methodist youth groups that raise money for Nothing But Nets will be eligible for prizes at Youth 2007, an international event for United Methodist youth in
A cell phone text-messaging network will provide campaign updates to youth, who can send a text message to 47647, type “Nets” in the text field and hit “send” to be added to the network.
“One of the benefits of being a partner in Nothing But Nets is that we’re giving a tool to congregations that may be struggling to reach youth. This is an avenue that will speak to youth,” Bickerton said.
“In sports, we’re always dealing with nets. It struck me as the simplest way to save lives,” Reilly said in an interview. “I think it’s so cool the church is involved.”
More information is available by going to the